Members of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on Carey Street had been looking for a good outreach program in which to get involved. When they learned about Relay for Life, they thought it was a perfect way to give back and support their parishioners affected by cancer.
“We just got really excited about it,” team captain Nancy Ham said. “Then, it took on a life of its own.”
For the first two years, the church team did what it could to raise money for Relay for Life. They sold a parishioner recipe book, hats, baked goods and more. A breakfast was held every year, and many members donated money, as well. Through their fundraising efforts, they were able to raise about $3,000 to $4,000.
But that all changed their third year. Another team, Friends of Jim Stevens, had been participating in Relay for Life for about seven years. Stevens had been a parishioner at the church, and his family started a team when he was diagnosed with cancer.
Although he died before the first Relay event, the team continued in remembrance of him, until it decided to pass the torch to the church’s team. That included the team’s major fundraiser — a golf tournament.
“It was just a really good fit for our team,” Ham said.
From the golf tournament, the church raised about $12,000.
“If it weren’t for the golf tournament, we wouldn’t have raised money outside of the church,” Ham said.
This year’s tournament will take place April 13, at Walden Lake Golf and Country Club. New to the tournament will be an award for the best-dressed foursome.
Ham’s advice to other teams hoping to topple the church team’s title: “Don’t make it a job. Have fun with what you’re doing because it’s a fun event. Remembering is what the goal is. Yes, making money is the main objective, but it’s about remembering those who have fallen or survived.”
Contact Amber Jurgensen at email@example.com.
IF YOU GO
10th Annual Friends of Jim Stevens Tournament
WHEN: Shotgun start at 8 a.m. April 13
WHERE: Walden Lake Golf and Country Club, 2001 Clubhouse Drive, Plant City
CONTACT: Margaret Stevens, (813) 716-1502 or MEStevens2@aol.com